A BILL – THE BEGINNING STAGES Idea A citizen, group, or legislator has an idea for a new law. A legislator then decides that the idea should be a bill Bill Drafted The Bill Drafting Service works with the legislator’s office to draft the bill. This is the first time an “idea” is called a bill.
READINGS Per Article III of the Florida Constitution all bills must be read three times before being voted on. 1 st Reading Publication in the journal and referred to one or more committees A committee studies the bill and often holds public input hearings on it The committee reports the bill action to the clerk as either HOUSE: Favorably, favorably with recommended committee or subcommittee substitute, or unfavorable and SENATE: favorably, favorably with amendments, or unfavorable 2 nd Reading On the floor by consideration of the Special Order Calendar established by the Rules and Calendar Committee. Amendments are considered during the session at the second reading. 3 rd Reading On the floor by consideration of the Third Reading Calendar Final reading of the bill prior to being voted on The final action is for debate on the bill prior to the sponsor making a closing statement
CONSIDERATIONS Once the bill is passed by the House or Senate it is sent to the opposite chamber with a message The bill may be accepted as is or amended on the floor, referred to committee, or defeated on the floor. If the bill is amended it is sent back to the opposite chamber for further consideration. This process can go back and forth at an attempt to make a “perfect bill.” If no compromise is made, the bill “dies.” If both chambers are passionate enough about the bill it can be referred to a special conference committee where both chambers work out the details KEY POINT – At any point of consideration, the bill may “die” for that legislative session, which means it will no longer be considered.
FINAL PASSAGE After the 3 rd Reading and any conference committee meetings the bill is on the road to becoming law The final version of the bill is “enrolled” and sent to the Governor for consideration The Governor has: 7 days to consider the bill while the Legislature remains in session 15 days to consider the bill if it is received after the Legislature has adjourned “sine-die” Upon consideration, the Governor may: Sign the bill into law Allow the bill to become law without a signature Or veto the bill As with the U.S. President, if the Governor vetoes the bill the Legislature may override the veto by 2 / 3 ’s vote during the next session.
SPONSORING BILLS Representatives can only file up to six bills for a regular session, of which at least two must be approved for filing with the Clerk no later than noon of the 6 th Tuesday before the first day of the regular session. There is no limit to the amount of bills a Senator can file/sponsor The member considered to have filed a bill is the first name sponsor There are exceptions to this rule as established by procedures
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS Thank You! Roderick Bennett, 6 th Governor, Florida Model Legislature Roderick@dougryanconsulting.com